Qantas Airways said today it would suspend its twice weekly services to
Rome via Singapore and commence codeshare services four times each week to Rome via Hong Kong with oneworld partner Cathay Pacific.
The Cathay Pacific codeshare services will commence on 9 September and
be operated by a Qantas aircraft between Australia and Hong Kong and a Cathay Pacific aircraft between Hong Kong and Rome.
This represents a doubling of frequency compared with the current Qantas
schedule. The new codeshare services will depart Australia on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
Qantas plans to operate 30 services per week to Europe from 9 September -
21 to London, seven to Frankfurt and two to Paris.
The Chief Executive Officer of Qantas, Geoff Dixon, said Qantas began
services to Rome in 1948 and the suspension of these services highlighted
the extremely difficult environment for international airlines, including
"This decision has not been made lightly," Mr Dixon said.
"The aviation industry is going through the most difficult period in its
history, with SARS compounding the consequences of the events of 9/11, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and the threat of terrorism.
"All areas of Qantas have been affected and we have made a range of tough
decisions including redundancies, retirement of aircraft and the reduction of
capital expenditure by $1 billion (S$1.14 bilion) next financial year."
Mr Dixon said Qantas would maintain a sales office in Rome and monitor
developments to determine whether Qantas operated services to Rome may be resumed in the future.
Qantas Frequent Flyer members will earn points on the new codeshare
services to Rome and oneworld alliance benefits will also apply.